CONSTITUTION AND RULE OF PROCEDURE OF C4
1. Legal Status
C4 (hereinafter referred to as “the Church”) shall, in terms of the Secular Law, be a voluntary Association with full legal personality, with perpetual succession and the power to hold property in its own name, distinct from its members, and capable of being sued and suing in its own name.
The aims and objects of this Church shall be to provide for the worship of God, in terms of the faith and doctrine as laid down in the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa.
The voting members of this Church shall be all persons who:
a) Have been baptized;
b) Have accepted and continue to accept constitution and canons of the Church of England in South Africa;
c) Are over eighteen (18) years of age;
d) Have been enrolled on the Electoral Roll of this Church;
e) Are not on the Electoral Roll of any other Church;
f) Have been habitual worshippers of this Church for a period of not less than six (6) months, provided that a member of the Church of England in South Africa, upon transfer to this Church, may be received as a voting member of this Church if he/she applies for admission as such.
4. Forfeiture of Membership
The Church Council shall have the power to delete the name of a voting member from the Electoral Roll if it is, after giving notice by registered post such member of its intention to do so, satisfied that the member concerned no longer qualifies to be a voting member, unless the member has ceased to be an habitual worshipper on account of age or ill health or any other similar valid reason.
5. Electoral Roll
a) It shall be the duty of the Church Council to keep at all times an Electoral Roll;
b) The Church Council shall from time to time and at least once annually not later than seven (7) days before the date of the Annual Vestry Meeting, bring the Electoral Roll up to date by deleting the names of persons who have ceased for any reason to be voting members, and adding new members’ names;
c) The Electoral Roll shall be open for inspection by any member of this Church.
6. Enrollment on Electoral Roll
a) Any member of this Church who desires to be enrolled on the Electoral Roll as a voting member shall apply for such enrolment on the official application form;
b) The Church Council shall at its first meeting after receipt of a duly completed application form, consider such application for enrolment as a voting member and shall forthwith enroll the applicant or if the application is refused, provide, on request, the reasons for such refusal.
7. Rights of Members
a) All members of this Church shall be entitled to attend Vestry Meetings and to speak thereat;
b) No persons shall be entitled shall be entitled to vote at any Vestry Meetings unless his or her name appears on the Electoral Roll as at the date of the Meeting except in the case of the Annual Vestry Meeting where his or her name appears on the Electoral Roll as at a date seven (7) days before the date of that Meeting;
c) No person shall be eligible as or qualify to be a member of the Church Council unless his or her name appears as a voting member on the Electoral Roll;
d) If a member is not satisfied with any decision of the Church Council and/or the congregation in Vestry, he/she may ask the Executive Committee of Synod to mediate or arbitrate in terms of Article X (3) (f) of the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa. Such arbitration shall be subject to confirmation by the next annual Synod whose decision shall be final.
8. Vestry Meetings
a) A general meeting of members shall be held once in every year, preferably before Easter and shall be called the Annual Vestry Meeting;
b) Other Vestry Meeting may be held from time to time as hereinafter provided for and shall be called Special Vestry Meetings.
The quorum for any Vestry Meeting shall be thirty percent (30%) of voting members. Failing a quorum the meeting shall be adjourned for not more than thirty (30) days and if still no quorum the meeting shall be abandoned.
10. Convening of Vestry Meetings
a) The Church council shall determine the date, time and venue of the Annual Vestry Meeting and shall give notice thereof by announcement of two (2) consecutive Sundays beforehand and by affixing a written notice, signed by the Chairman of the Church Council, at least fifteen (15) days beforehand in a prominent place on the Church precincts;
b) The Church Council shall convene a Special Vestry Meeting and give notice thereof in same manner as is prescribed in the immediately preceding sub-article, on receipt of a request signed by at least five (5) voting members, or by the Rector of Minister of the Congregation, or by the Church Wardens, or the Church Council itself may decide to call a Special Vestry Meeting. Provided that the date of a Special Vestry Meeting shall not be later than four (4) weeks after the date of the request;
c) The notices of Vestry Meetings shall specify the business to be transacted at the Meeting and it shall be competent for any Vestry Meeting to deal with any matter of which no notice has been given;
d) Should any matter to be dealt with at a Vestry Meeting concern any member(s) of this Church, the Church Council shall notify such members(s) concerned shall be entitled to attend and speak thereat.
11. Business of Vestry Meetings
a) The business to be transacted at the Annual Vestry Meeting shall be:
i) The election of Members of the Church Council;
ii) The election of two (2) Church Wardens;
iii) Receiving, considering and adopting the Financial Report, Annual Account and Balance Sheet;
iv) Receiving, considering and adopting the Annual Report of the Church Wardens;
v) Any other matter placed on the Agenda by the Church Council or of which written notice to the Church Council has been given by any voting member(s) at least two (2) weeks before the Meeting.
b) Special Business set forth in the Notice convening such a Meeting;
c) The method of the nomination and election of members of the Church Council shall be as follows:
Nominations must be proposed and seconded by voting members of this Church; the Chairman of the Vestry Meeting must satisfy himself that the nominated person(s) is/are qualified and has/have consented to this nomination. The election shall be by ballot if the nominations exceed the number required;
d) The method of the nomination and election of Church Wardens shall be as per Article 24.
12. Chairman of Vestry Meetings
The Rector of the Congregation shall reside at all Vestry Meetings and if absent; an Acting Chairman shall be elected from those present. The Chairman shall be entitled to a casting vote.
13. Minutes of Proceedings of Vestry Meetings
The Secretary of the Church Council shall keep Minutes of the proceedings of Vestry Meetings, which Minutes shall be required to be approved by the next Vestry Meeting and to be signed by the Chairman.
14. The Church Council
There shall be a Church Council for the proper administration of the affairs of the Church.
15. Constitution of Church Council
The Church Council shall consist of:
a) Rector and any other Minister of Ministers of the Congregation who shall be ex officio member(s);
b) The two (2) Church Wardens, who shall be ex officio members;
c) Such members as shall be elected by the Annual Vestry Meeting;
d) Such further members as may be appointed from time to time by the Church Council, (not exceeding half (1/2) those appointed in terms of c) above.
16. Qualifications for Membership of Church Council
Only voting members of this Church shall be entitled to be members of the Church Council. In addition, Councilors must evidence a degree of Christian maturity (1 Tim. 3:1-13), as well as a strong commitment to this Church.
17. Chairman and Office Bearers
The Chairman of the Church Council shall be elected by the Church Council and in his absence the Council may elect a Chairman from amongst them for that particular Meeting.
a) The Chairman shall have a casting vote;
b) The Council shall elect from amongst itself a Secretary and a Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be empowered to sign cheques as a sole signatory up to a face value of R250 (Two Hundred And Fifty Rand). For face value above R250 (Two hundred and fifty Rand), two signatures are required;
c) Any member of the Church Council shall be permitted to hold more than one office, if elected.
18. Period of Office of Elected and Appointed Member
The period of office of the elected members of the Church Council shall be from date of the Annual Vestry Meeting upon which they have been elected to the date of the next Vestry Meeting; the period of office of appointed members shall expire after the election of the new Council at the next Annual Vestry Meeting.
19. Functions and Power of Church Council
Generally it is the function of the Church council to properly conduct and administer the affairs of this Church and it particularly has the following powers (subject always to the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa):
a) To appoint Ordained Ministers or duly qualified laymen as Rector or Minister or Lay-Minister to the Congregation, to terminate such appointments and enter into contracts with persons so appointed relative to their tenure of office and other matters. (See Canon 5(2), (3) and (5) of the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa);
b) To provide the facilities and requisites for divine service and to acquire and maintain property, movable and/or immovable for that purpose;
c) To make and/or authorize all normal expenditure and payment;
d) To open or cause to be opened current banking accounts or savings accounts and to operate on such accounts; to raise or borrow money from time to time by means of an overdraft or loans against security or in any other way as the Church Council may deem fit; documents and cheques to be signed in accordance with Article 17(b);
e) To invest, lend, put out to interest, [place on deposit, advance or otherwise deal with moneys not immediately required to meet current charges upon this Church and in the entire discretion of the Church Council from time to time, to realize, vary investments and securities, provided that none of the powers contained herein may be exercised unless authorized by a resolution of the Church Council and passed by a majority of sixty percent (60%) of those elected and entitled to vote at a proper Meeting of the Church Council;
f) Subject to the provisions of Article 23 hereof to purchase, sell, mortgage or alienate immovable property;
g) To prepare or cause to be prepared an Annual Financial Statement covering the financial year ending on 31st December of each year, including a Revenue and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet certified as correct by the Treasurer and audited annually be qualified Auditors for submission to the Annual Vestry Meeting;
h) To keep and maintain the Electoral Roll of this Church and such other Register as may be required;
i) To arrange the basis on which Planned Giving or other sources of revenue shall be accrued;
j) To cause proper Minutes and Records of its proceedings and of all Vestry Meetings and of transactions of this Church;
k) To set up and establish standing and/or ad hic committees and to delegate to such committees any of its powers;
l) A Committee consisting of two Church Wardens, Secretary and Treasurer and Rector/Minister shall be empowered to deal with any urgent matter or business between Council Meetings. Their decision is to be reported and minuted at the next Council Meeting. The unanimous decision of this Standing Committee is required;
m) To decide on the following special matters, namely:
i) Allegations of heresy or misconduct against the Rector or Minister or Lay-Minister;
ii) The resignation of the Rector or Minister or Lay-Minister;
iii) Complaints relative to the conduct of any office bearer of this Church;
iv) The interpretation of this Constitution and Rules of Procedure.
Provided that no resolution of these special matters shall be operative unless passed by a majority vote at a Special Meeting of the Church Council, and confirmed by the congregation in Vestry.
20. Meetings of the Church Council
a) The Church Council shall meet regularly, at least once every second (2nd) calendar month;
b) Special Meetings of the Church Council shall take place at any time;
c) All Meetings may be convened on the decision of the Church Council or at the request of the Rector or Minister or any three (3) members of the Council and it shall be the duty of the Secretary to convene the Special Meeting within seven (7) days from the date on which he/she has received the Council’s instructions or the request of the Rector or three (3) members;
d) All matters before the Church Council shall be decided by a majority of votes.
21. Quorum of Church Council Meetings
The quorum for Meeting of the Church Council shall be half (1/2) the members plus the Chairman.
22. Forfeitures of Seat on Church Council
If any member absents himself from three consecutive Ordinary Meeting of the Church Council without leave, the Council may declare that such member has forfeited his seat on the Church Council.
23. Immovable Property
No immovable property shall be purchased, sold, exchanged, mortgaged, donated to another party, lease or alienated in any manner, unless sanctioned by a resolution passed at a properly constituted Vestry Meeting by not less than seventy-five percent (75%) of those present and entitled to vote, and confirmed by a resolution passed by not less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the Central Trustees of the Church of England in South Africa. All immovable property acquired by this Church shall be registered in the name of the Central Trustees of the Church of England in South Africa. If such property is sold, or is expropriated, the proceeds of such sale or expropriation shall be held in trust by the Central Trustees until they are used for the sole purpose of this Church.
Title Deeds and other legal documents are to be placed in Safe Custody.
24. Election of Church Wardens
The two (2) Church Wardens shall be elected as follows:
a) One shall be elected from voting members nominated for that Office by voting members (other than the Clergy) at the Annual Vestry Meeting and shall be known as “the People’s Warden”;
b) One shall be nominated for election to that Office by the Rector or Minister and shall be known as the “Rector’s Warden”;
c) A candidate for the office of Church Warden must receive a majority of the votes of those present and be entitled to vote before he/she is duly elected, provided that if there be a plurality of candidates for the office of “People’s Warden and no one candidate obtains the necessary majority of votes then there shall be further ballots for those two (2) candidates only who obtain the highest and the next highest number of votes in the first ballot until one or the other of such candidates obtains the necessary majority. Provided that if neither has obtained such a majority after the second of such further ballot, the election between the two (2) shall be for a simple majority in a third ballot, the Chairman to have a casting vote. If the person nominated for the “Rector’s Warden” fails to obtain the necessary number of votes, then further nominations shall be made until the necessary number of votes is obtained. A vacancy in the office of Church Warden occurring during the year of office may be filled at a Special Vestry Meeting.
25. Duties of Church Wardens
The Church Wardens shall be jointly responsible for carrying out the instructions of the Council relative to the control of the affairs of this Church, and shall have power to require the various services, and the Sacraments, to be celebrate in accordance with the Standards and Formularies of the Church of England in South Africa and to prevent and prohibit the introduction of any ceremony, vestment fitting or ornament, which is unlawful in the Book of Common Prayer of 1662. the Church Wardens are bound to act on a complaint made in writing under this Clause by at least five (5) members of this Church, but may refer such complaint to the Council for its instructions.
26. Declaration of Loyalty by Office Bearers
Before entering upon his/her duties every Church Warden and every member of the Church Council shall solemnly assent to and subscribe his/her name to the following Declaration of Loyalty before two (2) witnesses, namely:
“I, ………………………………. Solemnly promise to adhere to the Constitution of the Church of
England in South Africa and to receive as authoritative the standards of faith and doctrine, all forms of services and discipline of the church in accordance with that Constitution and all subsequent amendments thereto. I further solemnly promise to acknowledge the authority and to carry out the decisions of Synod and the officers of the church and to work for the peaceful and Christian fellowship of the Church, its Clergy, Synod members and Constituent Churches. I further solemnly declare that if at any time hereafter while holding office in the Church I consent to any agreement or compromise with any other Church or admit the authority or accept the administration of a Bishop or other person who does not hold office in the Church of England in South Africa, I shall resign from the Church of England in South Africa and any of its Constituent Churches within thirty (30) days of being called upon to do so by the Synod or the Bishop of the Vicar-General or the Chancellor or the Registrar of by the majority vote of the Council or Congregation of the Constituent Church to which I belong, and I shall vacate and return any property of the Church of England in South Africa or any of its Constituent Churches which I may be occupying or holding whether officially or personally within the aforesaid period of thirty (30) days.”
27. Amendments and Adoption of New Constitution
Amendments to this Constitution and the Rules of Procedure shall only be made at a proper Vestry Meeting and shall only be valid if passed by a majority of seventy-five percent (75%) of those present in person or by proxy and entitled to vote at such meeting and is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa, provided always that there are at least forty percent (40%) of voting members present or represented by proxy.